The Money Saving Expert has revealed how people aged 45-70 could boost their state pension by thousands, but the clock is ticking so you'll have to be quick.

After a new state pension system was introduced in 2016 a number of measures were put in place to help with the transition from the old scheme.

The new pension programme affects roughly everyone under the age of 70 and a number of the transitional measures that were introduced will finish at the end of this tax year.

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With a little bit of know-how it's quick to check if you could use these measures to make a few bob on your pension.

What's the advice? 

Martin Lewis explains that everyone between the ages of 45 and 70 should check to see how many national insurance (NI) credits they have. 

This is because  state pension payouts are based on the number of 'qualifying NI years' you have.

Most people acquire these while working or when getting NI credits (eg, for bringing up children). The first step is to check your pension forecast and/or check how many NI years you have.

The current full state pension is £185.15/week.

You have until April 5, 2023, to buy back years to plug any NI gaps back to 2016, after that, it's only back six years. 

"When the transitional arrangements end, the number of extra years purchasable drops, so checking now is key." Martin added.

"Those at or near state pension age will find it relatively easy to see if topping up may help."

If you're younger, the check shows how many years you already have, and how many are left. If a shortfall is likely and you've NI gaps for 2006 to 2016, you need to decide by the tax-year end whether to top up.

Though the younger you are, the more time you have to earn the max years through work or NI credits - so it will usually affect those aged 45 to 50 and over.

How much could you make? 

If you've got a bit of money to spare, though not all of us are that lucky, this could be a very lucrative way of topping up your pension. 

Bury Times: Money Saving Expert advice (Gareth Fuller/PA)Money Saving Expert advice (Gareth Fuller/PA)

For each £800 you spend on buying NI credits, you could net a "mostly inflation-proof" £5,800.

The Money Saving Expert (MSE) website has a simple state pension NI contribution top-up calculator to help with the maths.

A full voluntary NI year costs around £800, but could add up to an extra £275 annually to your state pension - so the break-even point is hit if you live just three years after getting your pension (or if you're already getting it, after you top up).

The MSE website states that if a man who's reached the age of 66 lives the typical 19 more years, a woman 21 more years, then for EACH £800 spent, a man can expect to get £5,300 extra pension, a woman £5,800.

Plus the state pension currently (usually) has a triple lock, meaning it rises with the highest of inflation, 2.5% or average earnings (though the average earnings figure is suspended this year).

Martin Lewis said:

"For many, unless you've a chronic condition likely to substantially impact life expectancy, if this works for you it's virtually unbeatable."

Warning: Buying back NI credits will not benefit everyone

MSE states that you should not rely solely on calculations as buying back NI credits is complex.

Doing your own calculation is not fool-proof and before shelling out you should call up the Future Pension Centre to get a bespoke answer on whether this is worth it for you.

It's important to note that those who will be relying almost solely on state pension income, it might not be worth it as you're eligible for a pension credit top-up (though nearly a million eligible don't claim).

The MSE website has a list of all the factors to take into consideration before buying extra NI credits so be sure to take a look here.